Did you find a sudden increase in ladybugs recently?
Have the little red insects been inside your house – or crawled around on your walls and windows outside?
Chances are you are not alone.
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For Greater Manchester, along with the rest of the country, looks set to experience a ladybug boom.
Reports on social media have revealed houses ‘under siege’.
They usually rise sometime between September and October – and this week seems to be the peak period for 2021.
The bugs will aim at small cracks around windows and doors to rest in or another warm place to hide during the cold winter months.
Experts have pointed to several reasons behind the sudden onset in numbers.
The recent warmer weather – which has followed a markedly colder snap as autumn kicks in – has meant that labybirds have been much more active than usual.
It is also said that there are currently more bugs for them to eat – due to mating patterns.
Tamas Papp, chief warden for lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo, said the country ‘ran about a month behind with our seasons’ this year.
He told Manchester Evening News : “People may have noticed more ladybirds at this time of year than usual, and there are a few reasons for that.
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“Normally we would at this time of year see ladybirds go to sleep, but because of the warm weather we have seen recently, they have been much more active than usual.
“We are running about a month behind with our seasons this year after a very long and cold spring, so with the warm weather comes much more activity.
“Some animals that would go to sleep fly around looking for food.
“At this time of year there seem to be more ladybirds than usual as there are a large number of bugs they eat when these insects mate in the summer so the numbers are high at the end of the season.
“We would expect to see ladybirds go to sleep when there is less daylight and the temperature drops to about five degrees at night, then around the beginning of October.
“Around this time, they go to sleep in hollow trees and show up next spring.
“In recent years, a non-native species native to Asia, the harlequin ladybird, has thrived in the UK and has quickly become one of the most common ladybirds in the country.
“As one of the stronger and larger species, it is able to outcompete our native species for aphid prey and will also eat other ladybird eggs and larvae.
“This, along with the fact that they can have more cattle during the spring, summer and fall, gives it a competitive advantage.”
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